Welcome to our daily look at daily fantasy baseball. We’ll use DraftKings salaries to give you some tips and advice on the day’s action. We’ll play the big, 15-game slate tonight.
Remember to check lineups and weather as gametimes approach. We’ll publish this piece in the mornings, and a lot can happen during the day. If Dusty Baker decides to bench Bryce Harper at the last minute, don’t blame us!
I’ll plan to wager $6 per day on DraftKings - $5 on a cash lineup, $1 on a tournament version – and track my progress all season. If you’re a more serious player who doesn’t want to trust his or her bankroll on a guy who enters six bucks a day, I’ll understand.
Lock of the day Danny Duffy pitched very well, tossing 7 1/3 shutout innings. Bargains Ryan Zimmerman (23 DK points) and Jarrod Dyson (12 points) were solid. The Reds and Nats stacks were terrible, getting held down by Wade Miley and R.A. Dickey. I’m not sure any lineup stacks worked out last night, with the possible exception of Babe Ruth Thames and the Brewers.
Our cash lineup lost, while one of the two tournament versions cashed for a small amount. Losing day, bad week so far.
Season status: Plus $5.50
Jeff HanischJeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
News & notes
Jon Lester ($10,600) and the Cubs are the night’s biggest favorites at minus-180 at Cincinnati. Just remember that every time Hamilton and Peraza ever get on base, they’ll probably steal second and third … The highest projected run total is 10 for both Giants-Rockies and Dodgers-Diamondbacks. Johnny Cueto is discounted to $8,100 for his Coors Field appearance … The lowest projected total is seven for Nats-Mets (Roark-deGrom), while there are three games at 7.5 (Marlins-Padres, Indians-White Sox, Mariners-A’s) … As of 6 a.m. ET, there’s rain in the forecast for Texas, Baltimore, Denver, Philly and New York. Royals-Rangers looks like the one to worry a bit about.
Look for Trea Turner and Jason Kipnis to return to their respective teams tonight. However, note that Dusty Baker said he probably won’t start Turner in his first game back … Matt Kemp went hitless against Stephen Strasburg after being activated on Thursday … Noah Syndergaard didn’t have his best game on Thursday, but he still hasn’t allowed a walk through four starts. Thor has whiffed 30 batters in 26 innings … Season-long players should note that Hector Neris got Thursday’s save for the Phillies … Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes figures to miss at least a couple of games with a hamstring injury.
Ken BlazeKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Francisco Lindor hasn’t shown much of a platoon split in his career (.345 wOBA vs. LHP, .355 vs. RHP). Jose Quintana is a nice pitcher, but he’s been struggling. How is Lindor only $3,900? Unless you’re dying to use Corey Seager at Arizona, Lindor is almost a no-brainer at shortstop.
Cash: Pirates 3B David Freese ($3,000) has four hits (including a homer) and five walks in 15 plate appearances vs. LHP this season. Freese has a very good .370 career wOBA against southpaws, and should bat fourth or higher vs. CC Sabathia.
Tournaments: Don’t sleep on Padres SP Trevor Cahill ($5,600), who has whiffed 15 batters in 11 1/3 innings over two starts. Remember that Marlins-Padres has a projected total of 7.5. Cahill doesn’t throw a lot of strikes, but nobody’s perfect at this salary.
So, you want to stack at Coors. Godspeed if you can afford to (the Giants vs. Chatwood are better). No arguments here, except that you won’t be alone.
Others will say OMG MAT LATOS IS PITCHING and stack Angels against him. Same for the Cubs against Reds SP Tim Adleman. Good choices, all.
We’ll go with the relatively affordable Dodgers against Taijuan Walker at Arizona. Assuming that Justin Turner will return from his hand injury, it’s Toles/Seager/Turner/Puig, and we reserve the right to tinker after lineups are announced.
Bryce Harper against deGrom. Also the Yankees, even though they’re cheap. They’re better than I thought, but I still think they’re mostly a creation of their home ballpark.
Position notes & suggestions
Note: We’re not going to mention most of the top Giants-Rockies hitters. They’re obvious and expensive, with favorites being Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Charlie Blackmon.
Starting pitcher: Corey Kluber ($10,800) gets the bad-hitting White Sox, but he hasn’t looked like his usual self so far, with five homers allowed in three starts. Again, the White Sox are bad … I prefer Justin Verlander ($10,300) at HR-suppressing Minnesota, as long as we agree to give him a mulligan for Saturday’s implosion against the Indians … My second cash game starter will be Tanner Roark ($8,000) at the Cespedes-less Mets. Roark doesn’t get the strikeouts you’d like and his team is an underdog, but he’s dependable, in a game with a low projected run total, and will face a bad lineup. Part of this pick is that I don’t trust the alternatives nearly as much as I trust Roark.
Tournaments open more possibilities. Jacob deGrom ($10,200) is always a threat to dominate, even against the Nats … Ditto for Lester at Cincinnati … The lower-priced targets are Dylan Bundy ($6,900), Drew Pomeranz ($6,700), Tyler Glasnow ($6,600) and Cahill ($5,600). Bundy and Pomeranz face scary offenses, but both have big K potential … The struggling Glasnow faces a Yankee lineup that has hit well lately but figures to settle in as a subpar offense (at least when away from home, anyway). Starlin Castro and Jacoby Ellsbury are not cleanup hitters, folks.
Catcher: Brian McCann has caught three straight games for the Astros, so we might see Evan Gattis ($3,700) in the five-hole at Tampa … Buster Posey ($5,100) is predictably expensive at Coors … The Pirates have batted Francisco Cervelli ($3,000) fifth against lefties, and he’ll face Sabathia tonight. Yeah, we know – not much power, but he has a .358 career wOBA vs. LHP … Milwaukee’s Jett Bandy ($2,700) has homered in three consecutive games. His history suggests a bad hitter with modest power. Remember that he might bat seventh or eighth … Of the mid-priced HR threats, Yasmani Grandal ($3,500) is my favorite at Arizona.
First base: Thames is obviously going to cool off at some points, but for $3,800 against a past-his-prime Wainwright, he’s a terrific value … I prefer Anthony Rizzo ($5,300) to Goldschmidt and Belt on the high end … For BvP folks, Matt Carpenter ($4,700) kills Wily Peralta – 1.327 OPS in 45 PA … Freddie Freeman ($4,600) is an elite option with a less-than-elite salary … Trey Mancini ($3,400) might lead off for the Orioles against Pomeranz.
Second base: If you want an affordable Coors player, it’s DJ LeMahieu ($4,400) … Jose Altuve and Jonathan Villar are attractive at $4,500 … Same for Ian Kinsler ($4,400) against Hector Santiago … Things we say every day: Rays 2B Brad Miller ($3,600) is a HR threat at a good price (vs. Fiers) … Peraza mentioned above … Neil Walker ($3,400) should have a top-four lineup slot with Cespedes out … Cesar Hernandez ($3,400) remains cheap vs. Bartolo Colon.
Third base: Bryant > Arenado at the high end … Manny Machado ($4,600) is relatively inexpensive vs. Pomeranz … Nick Castellanos ($3,800) is a very strong play vs. Santiago, especially if he returns to the second slot in the order … Ryan Schimpf ($3,600) batted second against LHP Patrick Corbin on Thursday, and could be in the same place versus Adam Conley tonight … All of these guys are playable, just not as good as Freese.
Shortstop: Corey Seager ($4,600) is in a nice spot at Arizona’s launching pad vs. Taijuan Walker … Lindor is mentioned above … Arizona’s Chris Owings ($3,500) should bat second again; he’s batting .304 with four steals … If Daniel Murphy is out again, Wilmer Difo ($2,400) could be back in the two-hole against deGrom. He’s a “break glass in case of salary emergency” type of guy.
Outfield: Mike Trout ($5,300) is in an especially sweet spot vs. Latos … If you don’t believe in Cahill, check out Christian Yelich ($4,300), who has six double-digit DK point totals in his last nine games … Mark Trumbo ($4,400) presents a risk/reward proposition vs. Pomeranz … Why is Nelson Cruz only $4,200 vs. a so-so lefty in Sean Manaea? … More lefty mashers include Lorenzo Cain ($4,200) and A.J. Pollock ($4,100) … As noted recently by Rotowire’s Jason Collette, Steven Souza ($3,500) looks like a “changed man,”, but he only leads off vs. LHP… Teammate Kevin Kiermaier ($3,400) isn’t so bad, either … New Rays leadoff hitter Kevin Pillar ($3,100) has a nice matchup vs. Alex Meyer … Dodgers leadoff hitter Andrew Toles ($3,100) won’t run much, but he could lead a stack … Guillermo Heredia ($2,600) is likely to lead off for the Mariners vs. Manaea. He doesn’t have any power or much speed, but he sure is cheap.
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Saturday is full of bad pitchers, with only Jake Arrieta and Carlos Carrasco looking the least bit trustworthy. Also, expect Trea Turner’s return for the Nats. On Sunday, let’s hope for another low salary for Oakland’s underrated Andrew Triggs (3-0, 0.00 ERA).